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Flathead vs Channel Habitat patterns

Discussion in 'Catfish Discussion' started by Salmonid, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. Ok, newbie catfisherman asking stupid question, so be nice....
    When I am river fishing a larger river system, is there a real difference in preferred habitat for flatties vs channels? and along the same question, are there different times of year when they move to different types of habitat?
    I understand wintering holes and the such but ultimately, can I assume that if Im catching channels in an area in May-Sept, that I could pick up a flattie as well in the same areas? Or should I move?
    Ultimately, do you guys see trends in different months where some areas/spots produce all channels and others are all flatties while even other spots share both species?

    Does that make sense? Hopefully some of the wiser folks with plenty of both species experience can elaborate.

  2. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    in my experience on rivers/streams other than the ohio,which i don't fish,you'll usually find both,though flatheads are generally more cover/structure(logjams,brushpiles,humps,boulders,etc) oriented than channels,especially during daylight hours,where they'll lay up and rest.but if you drop a bait in front of them,they usually won't turn it down.i usually look for deep water outside bends,especially with some cover,slower current,eddies and such,for flatheads during the daylight night they'll move up into nearby shallow water and below riffles,going on the prowl for food.channels can be found in the same type areas and also tolerate more current.though they frequent the same general areas,you may not find channels(at least smaller ones) in close proximity to flatheads,cause they might be on the menu ;)
    directly below dams is always a good location.
    channels are more easily caught in colder months,than flatheads.they can be caught almost from ice-out,whereas flatheads usually don't become very active till the water warms through the 50's.
    the flathead bite will slow way down for several weeks when the spawn kicks in,normally around the beginning of july,if conditions are right.
    i think the best overall time for good flathead action is late august through october,as they feed up for winter,though some big fish can be caught in spring and early summer.